Are you planning your plans?


In my lectures, I often use three slides, which are regularly commented on by the participating planners with a nod. In particular, this is the case with the second presentation film, which reflects the current situation.

The use of the BIM methodology requires a more structured handling of the data during the entire process. But is it enough if the data is created and passed on more structured? Is not it equally reasonable that all persons involved in a project implement their processes and activities more structured, using new methods and accessing digital tools? Outlook and Excel are good tools, but they are a bit overburdened in a digital planning. The tools are indispensable to most of you, but you do not manage to deal more efficiently with your time, reduce the number of meetings to a truly necessary level, and make the planning in the team more transparent.


The 5 phases

The majority of the experts speak in the framework of BIM of three phases (planning, creation and use). Development and demolition are not taken into account. But the development of buildings and the transition from development to planning are of crucial importance for the success of a project. The errors that happen there influence the creation process and are a long-term problem in the use phase.


The ideal case


The graphic shows us the ideal BIM process. Each phase is processed consistently before the next phase begins. Perhaps in years we are able to achieve this ideal situation, but we are quite a long way from that.


The reality


When I present this slide in events, most planners in the hall will be quiet and give me a nod to understand that I’m right with my slide. The phases overlap. The builder always has new ideas, which he communicates to his architect. This must communicate these change requests to the planners. Now and then these change requests come when the construction of the building has already begun. On the basis of these permanent changes of the plan, there are consequential errors during the construction of a building which, if and only at all, still have to be eliminated in the use phase. This practice is not productive and often leads to quarreling. The goal must be to reduce the overlapping of the phases to a necessary and unavoidable level.


The future


In the BIM process, the architect or the project manager of the architectural office plays a central role. It is up to him to moderate the first three phases in such a way that the phases are overlapped as little as possible. The transition from development to planning is the most creative phase of the project. Especially during this time, it is important that the client and the architect are transparent, open and, if possible, online. In this way the client gets an insight into the process and a feeling for the effects that special wishes will have in the last minute. Within the scope of the BIM process there are the official documents AIA and BAP. The documents are important and necessary, but you lack flexibility. One must always deal with whether the once agreed documents are always a measure of the satisfaction of all parties. It would not make sense to stick stubbornly to the documents and then to work with elaborate additions in the creation phase. It is important for the productivity that all involved planners really complete the planning and the creation can be handled undisturbed. Errors are being made during creation. You can never completely rule out this. Errors and consequential errors due to lack of planning will then almost no longer occur.


The right methodology and the right digital tool

BIM is a transparent and open process. Lean Construction is an ideal methodology of how people can shape this process together transparently and openly. Lean4Team is the right digital tool to implement the processes transparently, openly, digitally and online.

Everyone involved in the project gets access to the board. Anyone can immediately see the status quo of the project. Every company involved, including the client and facility manager, is given access. Everyone sets up their tasks and everyone gets their tasks. Unnecessary meetings can be dispensed with. Just to meet to communicate how far you are with your current task is superfluous. But if the representative of the client comes with an additional idea and several planners are concerned, then it is time for a discussion with attendance to jointly estimate and agree the effort. The resulting single tasks are then inserted into the board and can then be followed by all transparent and open. This allows you to manage the transitions in the two phases of development and planning. The number of e-mails and the number of phone calls are declining rapidly and the number of unnecessary meetings is also increasing. Outlook and Excel are not completely unnecessary. But they are rarely used in the project. MS Project was never used in these phases anyway.

With the good experiences you have gained in the first two phases, you will also be able to choose the Lean Construction methodology and Lean4Team software. Even the documentation of the deficiencies and their consequent processing will be done with Lean4 Team. On occasion, the methodology and the software are used in the utilization phase. At the latest, if you are planning a major conversion. And finally, when the building is demolished, disposed of, or reused, the use of the Lean Construction methodology and the Lean4Team tool is a sensible decision.


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